A gang used distraction tactics to steal £3,000 from a Swindon drinks shop. The group entered Wollens Off-licence on Cricklade Road on March 3 and started quizzing the owner about a bottle of wine. Meanwhile, one of the gang walked through to the owner's private quarters and pocketed the money. The licensee did not realise what had happened until he and his wife went to cash up that night. The theft was captured on CCTV. The owner, who asked not to be named, said: "I've had the shop for 16 years and nothing like this has happened before, but there's a spate of it going on in Swindon."
Threshers under attack
A Threshers in Brighton has been targeted nine times by armed robbers in the past three years. In the latest attack sales assistant Michael Tapper was working alone when two masked men armed with a revolver and a knife forced their way into the shop on Powis Road . The men fled after Tapper pressed a panic alarm. Last August Tapper was threatened while at work by a man armed with a knife. He said: "I'm going to return to work because I'm not going to let something like this worry me. Twice the Grim Reaper has come knocking and twice he has gone away. If my time is up, my time is up."
Protest against Tesco plans
Residents of Bourneville in Birmingham are hoping to stop Tesco building a store just outside a no-alcohol zone. Protesters have organised a petition s aying the area will attract anti social behaviour if the Express format shop in Linden Road gets the go-ahead. Shops in the area have not sold alcohol for more than 100 years because the community was built by Quakers. A Tesco spokeswoman said the store was outside a restricted no-alcohol zone and offered more choice to customers.
Epping retailer gets licence
A shop owner in Epping has won the right to sell alcohol, despite objections from local residents and other alcohol retailers in the area. Epping Forest council granted a change of licence for Martins to sell alcohol from 6am to 8pm every day of the week. A condition requires at least two licence-trained staff on duty at all times.
Hunt for masked raiders
Detectives in Burnley, Lancashire, are searching for three men who brandished a machete at staff at Mr Booze on Colne Road on March 17. The masked offenders failed to force staff to hand over cash from the till and they drove off towards Nelson in an unidentified car at about 11.40pm.
Fines for proxy buyers
Two adults in Littleborough, Lancashire, were fined £80 after they were caught buying alcohol for youths. Undercover police officers handed out fixed penalty notices to the pair during a campaign in February to help address the problem of anti social behaviour caused by under-age drinking.